Tom Coughlin needed to be extended this offseason. Next season was the final year of his contract with the New York Giants, and ownership does not like letting their coach head into a lame duck year. But Coughlin deserves more than the one-year extension he was given.
This isn’t the first time Coughlin has been rewarded with the minimum to avoid lame duck status.
In 2006, after a disappointing 8-8 season, Coughlin was offered a one-year extension to avoid heading into the last year of his deal. The same thing happened after a 10-6 season in 2010 that saw the Giants miss the playoffs for the second year in a row. Basically, these one-year extensions have been ownerships way of saying, “prove it.”
Think about it. When this season ends, Coughlin will once again be heading into the final year of his contract. So once again, the Giants will have to extend him. Why go through that if you know you want Coughlin to stay?
That was fair in 2006. In 2010, the organization couldn’t offer a multi-year extension; not when the Giants blew a 21-point 4th quarter lead against the Philadelphia Eagles, then laid an egg against the Green Bay Packers the following week.
Yes, this season was far from spectacular, as 7-9 is Coughlin’s worst season since his inaugural campaign in 2004. But this is a coach who has won two Super Bowls — tied for the most in club history — and is coming off a 7-3 finish.
It would be easy for a team to pack it in after an 0-6 start, but Coughlin kept them fighting. You can’t argue this team quit on Coughlin, and you can’t argue he’s lost the will to coach.
If Coughlin has a weakness as a coach, it might be as a strategist; he hasn’t exactly had the greatest track record with coordinators either. But Coughlin took a chance this offseason, as he hired Packers’ quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo to be his offensive coordinator. Instead of keeping the same offense and bringing Mike Sullivan back to the organization, Coughlin went with a young innovative coaching candidate.
The point is, Coughlin has once again shown willingness to adapt. He has taken an arguable weakness and has attempted a way to fix it that has made both ownership and the fanbase happy.
Despite the record, Coughlin proved once again that he is still a good NFL coach. With all he has done for the organization and the willingness he has shown to adapt, Coughlin deserves the support of ownership, which should be more than a one-year commitment.